Black Box: Season 1, Episode 4

Exceptional or Dead (15 May 2014)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Drama
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Ratings: 8.9/10 from 71 users  
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Ali discovers that Leo, Dr. Bickman's rival, doesn't have super-memory but is faking it due to a brain tumor. A new patient turns violent. Dr Black loses her ring before her engagement party.



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Title: Exceptional or Dead (15 May 2014)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Reagan Black (credit only)
Esme Black (credit only)
Dr. Hartramph (credit only)
Delilah Buchanan
Tasso Feldman ...


Ali discovers that Leo, Dr. Bickman's rival, doesn't have super-memory but is faking it due to a brain tumor. A new patient turns violent. Dr Black loses her ring before her engagement party.

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Release Date:

15 May 2014 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

16:9 HD
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Dr. Catherine Black: [to Dr. Ian Bickman] Are you aware of the studies that show overconfident surgeons are the most likely to make mistakes?
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User Reviews

"Cat Fight" or "My Precious!"
16 May 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Episode 4 manages to stay largely focused on the business of the Brain Doctors. Two patients and their very different problems stand front and centre. But a pair of patients seems to be only the most prominent items that come in pairs. A pair of catty women. A pair of "unlikely" romantic pairings (in the form of blue collar guys with brilliant lady doctors). A pair of creepy situations...

I don't know which is creepier. The Doctor and the Plumber reciting the "One Ring" rhyme from "Lord of the Rings" or the over the top soap opera ending of this episode...

Either way, drama ensues when Dr. Black's colleague drops her engagement ring down a drain and, almost immediately after, Dr. Black has a rather catty conversation with Dr. Mahmoud, the resident Psychiatrist.

Part of me wonders if the writers are of the opinion that Psychiatrists are morons. It's not an unpopular opinion, especially were tales of diagnoses after less than five minutes with a patient are legion (in the real world). As with most points made so far in this series, this is yet another one made with brilliant subtlety.

If you saw last episode, you'll recall that Will, Dr. Black's fiancée, had a one night stand with one of his waitresses... well, turns out we're being set up for even more drama ahead. This story line seems to have more soap operatic qualities than the rest of the story lines, but, again, catty behaviour looms large.

Vanessa Redgrave is conspicuously absent for the second episode in a row. Considering she is listed as having appeared in all thirteen, that seems odd. I'm wondering if the plot line for Dr. Black's therapist just wasn't working causing them to edit it out. This episode moved very fast, almost as fast as the very first episode, packing a great deal of material... perhaps they felt therapy sessions would break up the pacing... perhaps...

But as much as I missed seeing Redgrave, this episode was what I have come to expect... completely unexpected, especially since it's so easy to become attached to the characters in it.

Nice job, folks...

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